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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

Leaders vs positions of leadership

Updated: Jun 15

We have learned a lot about leaders during this coronavirus pandemic.

One thing that has struck me is the distinction between a leader and people in positions of leadership.

Have no doubt, these are two very different people.

There are the leaders who stepped up at the start of this crisis and looked at those around them at their teams, their colleagues, and said “you know what guys, don’t worry, I’ve got this”.

These are the leaders that you follow into battle. These are the leaders that will look after you no matter what. These are the leaders that we trust, and that when the time is right, they will be out on the frontline showing us how we are expected to move on from all this.

It’s also apparent that these leaders were not always in traditional positions of leadership before the crisis.

Then there are the people in positions of leadership who became completely introspected. Those who told their staff they could be out of a job in order to protect their business. These people in positions of leadership turned their backs on everyone around them including those who now that they’re now expecting to put themselves at risk for the sake of their own interests.

There are a great many examples of people in positions of leadership who are clearly not leaders, from individual employers to the plethora of government organisations and regulators who have repeatedly deferred to each other throughout this crisis and refused to take accountability for their action or inaction.

Those people in positions of leadership will have been found out. The impact of their actions may be realised sooner or it may come later but if they’ve lost the trust of those around them, it’s game over for them. The sword of Damocles is hanging by a very fine thread.

As we head into this post-pandemic world, most people are still scared about the safety of their families and themselves. There’s plenty of time left for the leaders of this world to stand up and be counted.

No-one has a map to get us out of here, we are in uncharted territory but right now we are looking to our leaders to grab the torch and lead the way.

Those leaders who want people to follow them have to be willing to show the way.

Leadership is about trust.

Leadership is about empathy.

Leadership is about doing what is right, not necessarily just doing what everyone else is doing.

Society will reward those leaders that have stood out during this time.

Those that betrayed the trust that came with their position, will discover a changed world that no longer needs them.

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